Archive for the tag “mentoring”

New life for a two-time felon

hectorHIS Bridge Builders writes at ServeWestDallas.org:

Hector Garcia left prison a two-time felon, but emerged as a man after God’s own heart.
Before leaving H.H. Coffield Unit, Hector began praying that he would know God more deeply and somehow avoid his familiar self-destructive patterns. After his release, Hector endured hardships few men—honest or otherwise—would accept. Rather than go back to the quick money of drug dealing, he lived out of his car and prayed earnestly for an opportunity to succeed with integrity.

Read the full story and watch the video by clicking here.
Learn more about Serve West Dallas by clicking here.

Mentoring self-employment starts a river of justice flowing

murray-mcnairOne of the most effective tactics for fighting poverty — and the hopelessness it engenders — is helping people start their own businesses. Not only does self-employment set a person free from the captivity of dependence and give them hope for the future, but it also fuels the engines of local and national economies. The article excerpted below says that if just 1 in 3 small businesses hired one employee, the United States would be at full employment. By mentoring others into entrepreneurship, Christian business owners can start a life-giving river flowing into entire communities.

Henry Rock, executive director of City Startup Labs, writes for the Christian Science Monitor about their Entrepreneur’s Academy:

Lawrence Carpenter knew he always had an entrepreneurial spirit, but he was in the wrong business – the business of selling drugs.

After his second stint in prison, it became clear to him: “I made mistakes in my life, and I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life in poverty because of those mistakes. I also knew that I had a criminal record, and looking at things realistically, it was going to be pretty difficult finding a job anywhere. I didn’t want to use that as an excuse. I knew that in order for me to realize the goals I had financially, my only option was to start my own business and create my own market.”

lawrence-carpenterThe Durham, N.C. native set about the task of starting Super Clean Professional Janitorial Services, a commercial cleaning service. “I wanted something that would get me as far away from the streets as possible, but where there wouldn’t be a limit or a cap on how much money I could make.” Now the sky seems to be the limit for Mr. Carpenter, as Super Clean is generating more than $2.5 million in sales per year and employs more than 70 full and part-time employees.

It’s the Lawrence Carpenters that organizations like ours – City Startup Labs – want to motivate, train, and deploy in inner cities around the country. This new non-profit was created to take at-risk young African American men, including ex-offenders, and teach them entrepreneurship, while creating a new set of role models and small business ambassadors along the way. City Startup Labs contends that an alternative education that prepares these young men to launch their own businesses can have far more impact with this population than other traditional forms of job readiness or workforce training.

Today’s economic climate allows employers their pick of candidates, leaving few options for anyone with a record. Young black men, who’ve had no brushes with the law, still routinely face real barriers in getting on a job ladder’s lowest rung.

According to a 2005 Princeton study, “Discrimination in Low Wage Labor Markets,” young white high school graduates were nearly twice as likely to receive positive responses from employers as equally qualified black job seekers. Even without criminal records, black applicants had low rates of positive responses – about the same as the response rate for white applicants with criminal records.

This is where entrepreneurship comes in. For example, a report done by the Justice Policy Institute states that, “…recidivism is higher for those persons who are unable to obtain employment after leaving prison and imposes a high cost on society; and yet employment opportunities are especially limited for ex-convicts. Thus self-employment would be a viable alternative for ex-offenders, at least for those with above average entrepreneurial aptitude…”

Read the full text of this excellent article by clicking here.
Learn more about City Startup Labs by clicking here.

via Rudy Carrasco at UrbanOnramps

Fathers for the fatherless

Angela Lu reports in World magazine:

John Smithbaker stands under the wide Wyoming sky teaching 7-year-old Brayden, a fatherless boy, how to swing a bat. He shows Brayden how to plant his feet. He switches the position of Brayden’s hands on the bat. Brayden swings and misses. Smithbaker readjusts him, again and again.

That’s what dads commonly do, but Brayden is living with his grandma and was without a father-figure in his life. That changed last December, when Smithbaker started meeting with him weekly through Fathers in the Field, an organization he founded that pairs mentor fathers with fatherless boys.

During their meetings Smithbaker teaches Brayden about their heavenly Father and prepares him for an antelope hunt at the end of the year. Brayden eats dinner at Smithbaker’s house and helps his mentor’s 12-year-old son with his paper route.

Brayden’s grandma says he now helps around the house and always reminds her to pray before meals.

As she was explaining that Brayden has “learned that it’s OK if his earthly dad left, his Heavenly dad …”—Brayden cut her off and finished the sentence: “He stays by my side all the time and never leaves me.” Father in the Field aims to help 7- to 17-year-old boys like Brayden by pairing them with mentor fathers from local churches. Mentor fathers need a pastor’s reference, community reference, and background check.

The program lasts three years. The pairs meet at least four times a month: Twice to attend church, once for community service to widows, and once for outdoor activities including hunting, fishing, camping, and fixing car motors. At the end of the year, mentor fathers bring their boys, called field buddies, on a three-day trip that culminates their training.

The major benefit, said Smithbaker, is the relationship that develops through these activities. By gaining a boy’s trust, he notes, mentor fathers can tell them about the love of their heavenly Father and the need to forgive their earthly abandoner.

 Read the rest of this great story here.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: